Help: FAQs, overviews and step by step guides

Validating your account

Why do I need to validate my account?

Within two weeks of funding your account we need you to validate your account by providing evidence of your identity and bank details. There are two reasons for this.

Security: both BullionVault and you are much safer when we agree at the outset your linked bank account - the bank account used to pay money in and for when you eventually sell your bullion and withdraw your money.

Legal: BullionVault is obliged by law to verify the identity of its users.

How do I do it?

If you're comfortable using your scanner/digital camera, and if you have the right documents to hand, it should only take a few minutes of your time. Your details will then be reviewed within a few days, and we'll update you by email.

To validate online, log into your BullionVault account, select ACCOUNT and VALIDATION and follow the prompts.

We will ask you to upload scans or digital photographs of certain documents:

  1. Proof of your appearance.

    A passport, national identity card, driver's license or other government-issued identification document with a clearly visible photograph, date of birth, signature (and if possible, address and nationality). For national identity cards, both the front and the back of the card should be shown.

    For joint, business or trust accounts we may ask for more than one photo ID (e.g. for multiple directors of a limited business, or all the owners of a joint account).

  2. Proof of your bank account.

    A recent bank statement from the linked bank account you used/will use to fund your BullionVault account.

    The statement must show the bank name, your name and the bank account details we will need to send funds back to you when you request a withdrawal. This will typically be a bank account number and branch identifier code (e.g. sort code [UK], ABA [US] or SWIFT BIC [International]).

    If you have already funded your BullionVault account, your bank statement should show your transfer(s) to BullionVault.

    UK users only: If you make a debit card payment after validating your account we require that you upload a statement to demonstrate that the payment came from your linked bank account.

    Some banks may require that payments from third-parties like BullionVault be routed through an intermediary bank account. If you aren't sure what bank account details we will need to send funds to you, check with your bank.

  3. Proof of address (if not shown on your bank statement).

  4. Business/trust accounts only: Proof of the legal entity.

    A document proving the validity of the legal entity. Typically a certificate of incorporation for a limited company, or a trust deed for a trust.

    We also require a document explaining the ownership of the legal entity, listing all beneficial shareholders and a breakdown of the shares. We require photo ID for all beneficial shareholders with a greater than 25% share.

We can accept most major file formats, but in general we recommend you send either JPG or PDF files.

How will I know when I'm validated?

We'll email you as soon as you're validated. In addition you can always track the progress of your validation by logging in and viewing the ACCOUNT > VALIDATION page.

Verifying your address

You will be asked to verify your home address as registered on your BullionVault account.

First take a digital image (scan, photograph, screenshot or download a PDF) of either a:

  • utility bill (gas, electricity, water or landline telephone) or
  • local tax demand (e.g. UK Council Tax).

This must show your name and address, and the address shown must match the address already registered on your BullionVault account. The document must also be dated within the last three months. Please do not use a bank statement.

A PO Box is not an acceptable residential address. BullionVault understands that it is common practice in some countries for most bills to be addressed to a PO Box. In such cases, you will be asked to prove residential address through insurance or utility bills where a supply address is shown.

Then upload the image in the ACCOUNT DOCUMENTS section of your BullionVault account online.

If you are thinking of concealing the proceeds of crime on BullionVault

  • BullionVault insists all your deposits come from the permanently linked bank account and allows no transfers between BullionVault accounts.
  • BullionVault will only allow you to withdraw money directly to the linked account, which in ordinary circumstances is the account from which all your deposits have been made.
  • BullionVault computers provide detailed transactional histories maintained indefinitely. We periodically develop new analytical tools to monitor the detection of layering.
  • If BullionVault detects suspicious behaviour in a money laundering context it is obliged to report you to the authorities without notifying you.
  • BullionVault co-operates with the criminal investigations of respected national governments.

How can I digitise my documents?

Take photos using a cameraphone, and you can use the BullionVault website on your phone to upload the photos directly into your BullionVault account.

Otherwise, you can use a digital camera or scan the documents; then transfer the images to your computer, log in to your BullionVault account and upload them.

I bank online and do not receive printed statements - what can I do?

Most online banking services will allow you to download a PDF statement which you can upload as evidence of your banking details.

Sometimes, we can accept screen captures of your online banking system, backed up by a test deposit from your bank account. Please provide us with a screenshot that shows your name, account number and branch code details — and your home address, if possible.

My documents are too large to upload - what can I do?

Please see our general help about submitting a document electronically.

Can I email my documents?

No. Email has two problems: it is insecure, and it cannot guarantee that the sender is who they say they are. By uploading your documents via our website, we solve both these problems. The transmission of your documents is protected using high-security encryption techniques, and allows us to reliably tie the document to the owner of the account.

You have my documents - why am I not yet validated?

All account validations are checked and reviewed manually before being confirmed on our system. Once you've sent us your documents, please allow 5 working days for us to process them. (Naturally it will take longer if you've sent your documents by post.)

If after that time you haven't heard anything, please double-check your email account. If we cannot validate your account straight away for any reason, we will always email you with details of the problem and how to proceed.

If you still have concerns, please contact us.

Can I fund and trade before I validate?

Yes. The only restriction is that you cannot withdraw until the validation process is complete.

Can I validate before I fund and trade?

Yes. Many clients like to ensure that all the paperwork is in order before they fund their account.

Once I’ve validated my account, will you ask me for any more details?

We may need to ask you for further documents while your account remains open, e.g. to update expired photo IDs, or to provide proof of a new address.

We may ask for declarations of the source of funds/wealth in the BullionVault account and also ask that you provide appropriate documents to back-up your declarations (e.g. a sale agreement as proof if the funds came from the sale of a property).

Any other questions

For most people the validation process is smooth and easy. However, we have customers in over 175 countries, banking with hundreds of different banks, all of whom have different identity documents, bank statements, and bank-transfer details. It is impossible for us to plan for every circumstance in advance, so if you're having any difficulties please just contact us. We will always need to establish your identity, but we will be both helpful and pragmatic about how that is accomplished.